WWE’s John Cena Use Becomes Clear, Charlotte Flair’s Shocking Victory, More Takes Friday
0 out of 5
This week’s Friday night wrestling block featured the final WWE and All Elite Wrestling shows of 2022, so both companies wanted to go out with a bang.
At AEW, Jade Cargill put the TBS Championship on the line against Kiera Hogan, and Orange Cassidy defended the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta. Swerve Strickland fought Wheeler Yuta in the main event of Rampage.
On SmackDown, Charlotte Flair made her shock return to WWE and won the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Ronda Rousey after her first title defense against Raquel Rodriguez. Solo Sikoa took on Sheamus in a power showdown.
Finally, John Cena teamed up with Kevin Owens to take on Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn in what was Cena’s only match of 2022.
Let’s take a look at some of those moments from Friday’s SmackDown and Rampage.
Solo score is the future
1 out of 5
Ever since Sikoa came onto the WWE scene, you could tell there was something special about this kid.
Coming from the Anoa’i family has given him a head start in this business, but he has more than proven that he offers more than his name.
He’s been in better shape since arriving on the main roster, and the way WWE has portrayed his character is great because he leaves plenty of room to grow.
His match with Sheamus on Friday’s SmackDown was an entertaining and impactful affair that showed he could hold his own against one of the top powerhouses in the business. If he keeps improving while putting in great performances, he’s going to have a title around his waist in no time.
The one thing we haven’t seen much of him is his ability to cut a promo. He’s spoken more in NXT than SmackDown, but that’s the kind of stuff WWE can work on while he’s playing the loud, quiet guy.
Raquel Rodriguez would be better in heels
2 out of 5
Rodriguez got her shot at the SmackDown Women’s Championship this week in a match against Rousey, but despite her significant height advantage, she fell short.
Ever since she was called up from NXT, it feels like WWE doesn’t know what to do with her. She’s bigger and stronger than most of the roster, but she’s never been portrayed as the same dominating force she was on Tuesday.
Although she is a decent babyface, she has so much more potential for success as a heel. Having her be the great power that intimidates everyone on the roster would make her so easy to hate.
A great place to shop around would be during the Women’s Royal Rumble on January 28. Her being the one to knock out all the fan favorites would give her an easy path to becoming a villain in 2023.
Her match against Rousey was one of the longest fights she’s had, and it showed just how far she’s come since joining the company. She clearly has a lot of potential, but once she understands how her character should be defined, she’ll be in a much better position to succeed.
Putting the title on Charlotte right away was shocking in a good way
3 out of 5
Charlotte not only made her surprise return to WWE this week to take on Rousey, but she ended up winning the SmackDown Women’s Title in her first match.
The crowd was fully behind The Queen as she quickly challenged and defeated an already tired Rousey after her match against Rodriguez. It may not have been what we expected, but it was definitely the right choice for several reasons.
A lot of people probably assumed she wouldn’t be returning until the Royal Rumble, so having her return on the final SmackDown of 2022 gave the show another memorable moment. On top of that, winning the title in an unannounced match is going to have people talking for days.
Charlotte has been gone for seven months, so her return to close out the year and kick off 2023 as the new champion is going to make for some interesting television.
John Cena is a great part-time attraction
4 out of 5
Cena has officially had one match every year for the past 20 years following his fight on SmackDown this week, but his appearances have become increasingly limited in recent years.
His star is on the rise in Hollywood following the success of The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, so it’s understandable that he doesn’t want to put his body at risk as often as he used to.
That means Cena will likely be a performer of one or two matches a year at most until he decides to hang up his sneakers for good, which means WWE has to be careful who gets booked for those few. matches. .
Having him work with Owens, Zayn and Reigns this week was smart, but if he’s going to work a fight at WrestleMania next year, he needs a big-name opponent.
WWE could always go the celebrity route and pair him with someone like Logan Paul, but using a rare Cena appearance would be better used to put someone else on who will be there every week to capitalize on that momentum.
Bobby Lashley is someone who would benefit greatly from defeating the Cenation leader, but that’s only if Cena even plans to make Mania. This could all be unnecessary speculation until it is confirmed for the event.
Swerve Strickland is better off as a heel
5 out of 5
This week’s Rampage featured a main event match between Strickland and Yuta that further illustrated that Swerve becoming a heel was the right choice.
The former WWE Superstar has been a beloved babyface for a few years, but he’s no stranger to being the bad guy. In fact, Hit Row started out as a heel faction.
His manners are perfect, especially during interviews. The pre-game video with Mark Henry allowed him to quickly and effectively show that side of his personality.
What’s great is that he’s able to maintain his style in the ring while playing his heels. Most people who use a thrilling arsenal of moves tone these points down after turning their heels to avoid cheering, but Swerve is so good he can do it all while generating boos.
When he and Keith Lee finally have their big showdown, it’s going to be epic.